Top Tools Techs Can't Live Without

Technicians have so many options these days when it comes to tools needed to do the job.

Landing the sale and explaining procedures with your customers have never been more streamlined. Here are a few gadgets that you can't live without. "Wow" your customers with:

iPad 2/Other Tablets
Cost: Starts at $499

Customers can view presentations, purchase on-the-spot, and sign for their new system all in one setting. The process has never been more streamlined, and the customers will never be more impressed. Some iPad apps (the ACCA's DuctWheel) even allow contractors to properly size ducts, as well as other on-the-job tasks like the filling out proper maintenance agreement and home comfort evaluation documents. Physical tools needed on the job will always be the same (screw drivers and flashlights), but some others are becoming obsolete with the iPad 2.

Note that the iPad 2 is most effective when purchased with a 3G data plan, as to pinpoint locations without WiFi.

Handheld Computer/PDA
Cost: Starts at $200

For the functionality the iPad has yet to catch up on, perform all dispatching, invoicing, and tech-to-tech communications in one handheld computer. Advantage: If different technicians work on one customer's home, they can see what the previous technician performed at that home. Disadvantage: these don't have the 3G capabilities for GPS purposes/Internet.

While all tools are big investments, they'll have a huge ROI in the future. Imagine eliminating the use of old tools in favor of a streamlined approach that isn't just "shiny and new," it's "smart and user-friendly."

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